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Social control

When a person violates a social norm, what happens? A driver caught speeding can receive a speeding ticket. A student who wears a bathrobe to class gets a warning from a professor. An adult belching loudly is avoided. All societies practice social control    , the regulation and enforcement of norms. The underlying goal of social control is to maintain social order    , an arrangement of practices and behaviors on which society’s members base their daily lives. Think of social order as an employee handbook and social control as a manager. When a worker violates a workplace guideline, the manager steps in to enforce the rules.

The means of enforcing rules are known as sanctions    . Sanctions can be positive as well as negative. Positive sanctions are rewards given for conforming to norms. A promotion at work is a positive sanction for working hard. Negative sanctions are punishments for violating norms. Being arrested is a punishment for shoplifting. Both types of sanctions play a role in social control.

Sociologists also classify sanctions as formal or informal. Although shoplifting, a form of social deviance, may be illegal, there are no laws dictating the proper way to scratch one’s nose. That doesn’t mean picking your nose in public won’t be punished; instead, you will encounter informal sanctions    . Informal sanctions emerge in face-to-face social interactions. For example, wearing flip-flops to an opera or swearing loudly in church may draw disapproving looks or even verbal reprimands, whereas behavior that is seen as positive—such as helping an old man carry grocery bags across the street—may receive positive informal reactions, such as a smile or pat on the back.

Formal sanctions , on the other hand, are ways to officially recognize and enforce norm violations. If a student violates her college’s code of conduct, for example, she might be expelled. Someone who speaks inappropriately to the boss could be fired. Someone who commits a crime may be arrested or imprisoned. On the positive side, a soldier who saves a life may receive an official commendation.

The table below shows the relationship between different types of sanctions.

Formal and informal sanctions may be positive or negative. Informal sanctions arise in social interactions, whereas formal sanctions officially enforce norms.
Informal/formal sanctions
Informal Formal
Positive An expression of thanks A promotion at work
Negative An angry comment A parking fine

Summary

Deviance is a violation of norms. Whether or not something is deviant depends on contextual definitions, the situation, and people’s response to the behavior. Society seeks to limit deviance through the use of sanctions that help maintain a system of social control.

Short answer

If given the choice, would you purchase an unusual car such as a hearse for everyday use? How would your friends, family, or significant other react? Since deviance is culturally defined, most of the decisions we make are dependent on the reactions of others. Is there anything the people in your life encourage you to do that you don’t? Why don’t you?

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Think of a recent time when you used informal negative sanctions. To what act of deviance were you responding? How did your actions affect the deviant person or persons? How did your reaction help maintain social control?

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Further research

Although we rarely think of it in this way, deviance can have a positive effect on society. Check out the Positive Deviance Initiative, a program initiated by Tufts University to promote social movements around the world that strive to improve people’s lives, at (External Link) .

References

Becker, Howard. 1963. Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance . New York: Free Press.

Schoepflin, Todd. 2011. “Deviant While Driving?” Everyday Sociology Blog, January 28. Retrieved February 10, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Sumner, William Graham. 1955 [1906]. Folkways. New York, NY: Dover.

Questions & Answers

guys I need to know what is meant by basic economic mathematics and explain please
Lovemore Reply
It's also the usage of mathematical tools to express and analyse economic problems.
Rasaq
so basically it's the use of mathematical formulas to solve the problems under demand and supply right...
Lovemore
Yes, though economic analysis majorly has to deal with demand and supply forces in fact the back bone of economics rest on demand and supply but there are other functions like consumption function, implicit ,explicit, monotonic( constant, increasing, decreasing), transcendential, homogeneous, polyn
Rasaq
wat improvement do economic has with our life
Aminata Reply
it help us how to use our limited resources to satisfy our unlimited wants
Pagnol
Economics assit in understanding the pre-requisite for Growth and developmen and how the workings of the economy operates.
Rasaq
Economics is the social Science in which we study how scarce resources are allocated for the betterment of human being.
Ali Reply
what is equilibrium point
Happiness Reply
where price and quantity demanded meet
Pagnol
is the point where price an quantity demanded meet
Aminata
why do consumer demand curve tend to move downward slope
Aminata
Equilibrium point is the point at which quantity demand equals quantity supply.
Rasaq
What is monopoly
Ezekiel Reply
Is a strict example of an imperfect market where there is only one seller and many buyer for a particular product.
Rasaq
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BUKENYA Reply
economics us behavior. Of people, nations, markets etc. It has much to do with reactions. watch MSNBC. Bloomberg. everyday they talk about how the markets react to an piece of news, legislation, interest rates etc. Interesting volatile stuff
TOM
but, it also react with science
ezhilarasan
economic is a science with study's the behavior of people,market and price
Bertilla
it's a science which study the behavior of people ,market n price
Bertilla
What is opportunity cost?
Junior
opp. cost~a benefit, profit or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else
Kim
or something that you foregone
Kim
who is the father of economic
Yirtutey Reply
Adam smith
shaikh
modern father is Adam smith
Bilal
Adam smith
Nazifi
what is backward bend
Florence Reply
It's a curve that reverses direction
Ajibade
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Kojo
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what is the difference between statistic and statistics?
Shafiu
One of the Principle of Economics states "Market is the best place to organize economic activies". However, market may fail if it does not perform it's necessary expected functions like Exercising real forces of demand and supply, contact where transactions are made etc. Though government may int
Rasaq
Through the Business cycle or the trade cycle.
Rasaq
it can can be described as when the demand is insufficient
Amaan Reply
high Dublin divino through Higginbotham
Shubham Reply
How does exchange rate affect the demand and supply?
austine
You mean demand and supply of currency ?
Jahangir
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Hann
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Victor
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Thabo
Nigeria
Junior
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niwagaba
Hello
Abraham
What is the difference between Demand and Quantity Demanded?
Weedh
Demand refers to how much a product is desired by buyer mean while quantity demanded refers to the amount of product a buyer is willing to buy at a certain price.
Junior
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Ajibade
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Junior
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Ogunsola
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ayomide
Evening
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demand is the various quantity of goods or services a consumer is Willing and able to buy at a particular price over s given period of time while quantity demanded is the amount of goods or services being paid for
Florence
Good
Awudu
1.it allows producers to learn and invent 2.it allows agent to take advantage of economic scale 3.it allow agents to focus in areas of
oyebola Reply
can someone explain the motive of money to me?
Alemogho Reply
ask the question you don't know
ojo
opportunity cost
Sylvo
the motive of money is to pay for goods or services. it's also for transaction purposes bet it ordinary or unforseen
Silke
Money helps to reduce our scarcity problems. It can satisfy your wants to an extent
Okwori
transactive motive
Aminata
money help as a store of value for future uses
Pagnol
it also serve as a medium of exchange
Pagnol
The motive of Money was postulated by John Maynard Keynes when he was explaining the Theory of Money from the Keynesian point of view. These motives are; the speculative motive, the transaction motive and the Precautionary motive. The precautionary motive of money is an assumption that mone
Rasaq
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Edmond Reply
according to Jhon Robinson the main problem of economics is what to produce? how to produce? whom to produce? economics tries to solve these problem scientifically by using its theories which are scientific in nature,basically micro and macro theories which just explain what the problem is...
Lavkesh
and now the solving techinique is also changed. only theories or its matematical +statistical version is not sufficient so the economist had developed Econometrics which includes economic theory+mathematical economics+statistics, for solving economic problem. This method treats economics as a pure
Lavkesh
..pure science so this technique is based on pure scientific methods.
Lavkesh
Economics is the scientific study of human behavior so there for science is used to solve economics problems using economics theories
Florence
economic is not higly subject of taminadu ...
Mutha
Through observations, formulation of hypothesis and derivation of a conclusion.
Rasaq
so what can you say about basic economic mathematics and explain please......
Lovemore
It's an approach in which Economist make use of mathematical symbols or mathematical parameters to express an assertion or theory.
Rasaq
measurement of elasticity of demand
John Reply
Price elasticity of demand= Percentage change in quantity demanded/ Percentage change in price
Jale
For example, suppose that a 10 percent increase in the price of an ice-cream cone causes the amount of ice cream you buy to fall by 20 percent. We calculate your elasticity of demand as
Jale
Price elasticity of demand =20 percent /10 percent = 2
Jale
In this example, the elasticity is 2, reflecting that the change in the quantity demanded is proportionately twice as large as the change in the price.
Jale
what is economic
Samuel Reply
economics is a social science that studies the relationship of human behavior between ends and scare...
Lawrence
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austine
it's significant in study of managing available resources to satisfy human needs and wants
mohamed
economics is the science of wealth
Aamir
it is also said that it is the science of scarcity
Aamir
why study economic
Neo
Economic helps to meet our needs and wants nd to make choices.
Abraham
careers or jobs associated with economics
Neo
Economics is more than choices, scarcity, resources etc. It has a lot to do with psychology, social psychology. Understand motivation for consumer decisons.
TOM
okey
Neo
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DIRIOHA
English.mathematics.economics and one other social science subject
Ogunsola
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Mutha
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Mudassar
acc to robbin . "Economics is a science that studies human behaviour as a relationship between scarce means and ends which have alternative uses"
Jahangir
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Hann
pleas explain circular flow of income
Eagle
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Economic growth is an increase in the real output leading to a growth or a rise in the nations gdp.
Charles
Economics is the study of wealth or money and it's an economic activity which has almost three terms divided into them, production consumption and Distribution of wealth.
Zahid
Economics is the study of wealth or money and it's an economic activity which has almost three terms divided into them, production consumption and Distribution of goods and services.
Zahid
plz what is econometrix
saheed
Econometrics is the Mathematical/Statistical Representation of economic systems we analyze theoretically and empirically
Jason
Econometrics is the statistical application to the empirical estimation of economic relationship
Ajibade
While the American heart association suggests that meditation might be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments as a way to manage hypertension
Beverly Reply
What is called research problem and how we narrow down a research question and why it is needed
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology. OpenStax CNX. Jun 12, 2012 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7
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